It was joy and praise worship unto God by widows and widowers numbering over 350 that gathered penultimate week, in Lagos, under the auspices of Healing Heart Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO), reputed for training and catering for the welfare of widows and widowers in the society. Venue was the headquarters of all the nine chapters of the NGO whose activities started many years ago. The annual celebration tagged “mega feast’’ according to the organizer was to better the life and inspire hope of the widows in the new year and going forward, The foundation disclosed that a whopping sum of N2.1M was spent for the mega feast to purchase items ranging from: rice, spaghetti, noodles, beans and other essentials, all in a bid for the widows to celebrate and be happy throughout this special season that the whole world is celebrating, despite the economic realities on ground. With nine zones namely: Amukoko, Ejigbo, Ojuelegba, Ikeja, Mafuluku, Oshodi, Isolo, Ijesha, Orile and Ilasamaja, all in Lagos, the Healing Heart Foundation promoter explained that, the future is bright for all those that are ready to run with the vision of the NGO and put into practice what they are taught during training and empowerment programmes organised from time to time.
The founder of the NGO, Rev (Mrs), Sophy Nwanneka Mbanisi, an Anambra born philanthropist, thanked God Almighty for the vision saying that the annual thanksgiving with the widows is a yearly tradition whereby all the zones gather to thank God for all His benevolence and mercies. She explained that this year, 2020 annual feast was peculiar due to the challenging times that has affected the economy adversely coupled with the ravaging Corona virus pandemic, which according to her, also has crippled the economic activities globally that has resulted to hunger and misery. ‘’ I feel for the masses, government cannot do it alone, the government may have good intensions but some people will be jeopardizing the efforts of government. Individuals should be able to support the efforts of government towards ensuring that Nigerians have food to eat. Healing Heart is an organization I am running because it is my lot in life. I believe in life that God has shared out responsibilities, positioning us on the path to fulfilling destinies. I grew up to know myself, always full of empathy for people and in the course of my growth, I lived with a woman who was a philanthropist to the core. In her house, she runs a prayer ministry and every blessed day, food was cooked and shared to people as if she was holding a party. Part of her life rubbed-off on me, you can’t enter her house and not eat and take away.
Every festive period, mother’s day, etc, she had loads of food to churches, schools. I saw that growing up and I ran with it God being faithful, I married somebody who can provide for me and I have enough to share to people. That helped me also to develop more empathy and to know that, this is what God wants me to do’’ Rev. Mbanisi also stated that apart from the annual thanks giving, that the organization also meet ones every month to encourage members and know how they are faring from each zone. She expressed the lack of commitments on some of the women who instead of putting what they learnt in practice to enlarge their coast but they instead prefer to ask for more and more largesse, ‘’The problem we are facing is that some women don’t want to be productive after training them, many of them are supposed to be on their own because my vision is for them to grow and the branches too. So many of them have actually grown but the growth we are looking at is not commensurate with the support given’’ In the same vein, widows at the feast expressed joy and happiness and thanked God immensely for the Healing Heart foundation and prayed for its longevity and the founder